News Roundup for August 1st, 2014

Believe It! Or Not

After 15 years of non-stop ninjitsu, Naruto is finally hanging up his headband. OR IS HE?! The title for the new film, The Last: Naruto the Movie implies that this is the end of the line but who can say for sure? We'll have to wait to see what happens when it hit theaters on December 6th.

Official homepage: http://www.naruto-movie.com/

LOL! Mad Haxor Skillz

Yoo-hoo, Sphinx 1 and Sphinx 2 have hijacked the Internets to bring you a riddle from the Japanese branch of Mensa.

What's the 20th digit in this sequence:

131228331430...

Figured it out? Then head over to the Terror in Tokyo homepage for your fabulous prize! And if you get it wrong? Let's just say that today's forecast calls for a 100% chance of KABOOM!

Official homepage: http://terror-in-tokyo.com/

Just According to Keikaku

Did Knights of Sidonia leave you wanting more hard sci-fi anime? Try to hold out until next year when Noitamina brings award-winning author Project Itoh's acclaimed works to the big screen with anime adaptations of Genocidal Organ and Harmony. Project Itoh may have passed away from cancer in 2009 at the age of 34 but his stories live on.

Official homepage: http://project-itoh.com/

Holding Out For a Hero

Japan's greatest suits actor is over the hill but that won't stop him from chasing his dream. Will his love for Bruce Lee be enough to let him leave the safety of wire work and green screens to star as the ass-kicking white ninja in a Hollywood action blockbuster? In the Hero promises us drama, heartache and slapstick kaiju antics when it opens on September 6th.

Official homepage: http://in-the-hero.com/

Get in the Festival Spirit

The good news: The yosakoi club will be performing at the school festival! The bad news: It's only 10 days away! Try to help the girls get their groove on in the upcoming PlayStation Vita title, Hanayamata Yosakoi Live! The seiyuu reprise their roles in this all-new scenario with character songs from series composer Monaco. See you at the dance when it hits on November 13th!

Official homepage: http://hanayamata-game.bngames.net/

Preview: G.E.M. Series - Revolutionary Girl Utena: Utena Tenjou 1/8 Complete Figure by MegaHouse

-----Based on our Japanese blog-----

Meshi here, ready to serve up another heaping helping of figure previews. You can't talk 90s anime without mentioning Revolutionary Girl Utena. The themes may be a dime a dozen nowadays but the show was a true pioneer for subverting genre tropes before "deconstructionism" became a dirty word. Thanks to the revolutions in figure technology since her time main heroine Utena Tenjou is finally getting the sculpt she deserves! Let's dig in!

G.E.M. Series - Revolutionary Girl Utena: Utena Tenjou 1/8 Complete Figure [MegaHouse]

Utena's look is equal parts shojo manga, Takarazuka and awesome.

MegaHouse has flawlessly captured a regal duel scene straight from the show. If you think her limbs are too lanky to fight with a sword you may be right, but she wields the Sword of Dios purely with her heart.

The tempest of tassels and flowing pink hair make you feel like you are right there in the fight with her, though hopefully not as the opponent! The fine details and coloring are exactly what we've come to expect from MegaHouse.

Utena is a tomboy through and through yet even her rigid men's coat can’t hide her healthy proportions. And it's a good thing, too. Without a visual cue it can be next to impossible to differentiate genders in shojo manga.

As is often the case when characters make the 3D transition we get to see many sides of Utena not shown in the original works, not the least of which being this low backside view.

Like the sculpt itself, this outfit is decorative and intricate without crossing the line into being garish.

The character design screams "90s anime" in a good way. No, a great way. That's not to say that her willful stare doesn't rival the best that the current generation has to offer! Note that from this lower angle you can make out the rose ring on her left hand.

A bit (OK a ton) of backlighting shows off the clear parts used in her hair and frills while conjuring up a fantastic image not unlike a scene from the anime.

And finally a shot with the roses prominently featured in the story. A little creativity goes a long way when displaying your figures and I encourage everyone to give it, and Utena, a try!

G.E.M. Series - Revolutionary Girl Utena: Utena Tenjou 1/8 Complete Figure [MegaHouse]

(C)1997 ビーパパス・さいとうちほ/小学館・少革委員会・テレビ東京

*Photos are of a prototype and the actual product may differ.

Catch all the Fun at Pokemon Exhibit in Roppongi Hills

Hello, there! Welcome to the world of Pokemon XY. The Tokyo City View observation tower in Roppongi Hills is holding an interactive exhibit to celebrate the release of the new film, Pokemon the Movie: Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction. Dear reader! Your very own Pokemon legend is about to unfold! A world of dreams and adventures with Pokemon awaits! Let's go!

Competitive battling aside, Pokemon is a family friendly franchise first and foremost so the exhibit halls are full with big colorful illustrations and cardboard cut-outs of iconic 'mons along with cheery messages from the voice actors.

But there's plenty for hardcore fans to see as well. You're not allowed to take pictures, but the exhibit includes mechanical designs of the magical poke-technology that runs the world, lavishly detailed backdrop paintings and illustrations from series art director Ken Sugimori.

All Nippon Airways has been flying Pokemon jets since 1998. I wonder if the production staff rode them when they did location scouting for the films? The fantasy settings are based on real-world locales, including the fjords of Norway for Giratina and the Sky Warrior, Greece for Arceus and the Jewel of Life, the French Alps for Black Victini and Reshiram/White Victini and Zekrom just to name a few. The new film was inspired by the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. What's next--Pokemon on the moon?

Pokeballs are like wallets, if you find one on the ground you should always open it before turning it in. Just to make sure the contents are safe, you know?

Who's that Pokemon?

It's Manaphy!

The darkened theater in the back is a museum of Legendary Pokemon. Be on guard for pickpockets and Team Rocket!

The curving hallway of the exhibit space opens up into the Pikachu Cafe. If it's yellow, it's on the menu!

PIKACHU used Defense Curl! PIKACHU's Defense rose!
AMIAMIBLOG used Guillotine! 

It's a one-hit KO!

Our steamed Pikachu bun was filled with mincemeat and veggies and topped with pickled burdock stripes. The tortilla tail was a nice touch.

Dig in! Parents be warned--this dish may be too intense for small children. If you're hesitant to smash Pikachu's smiling face to mix with the beef curry, I recommend removing his pickled eyes and cheeks first. 

Pikachu tears through a dimensional rift to extract revenge on his mutilated friends!

Actually It's just his pudding head chilling on top of a fruit sundae. Dig through the layers of strawberry jam, banana pudding, mikan chunks, whip cream and cornflakes to get to the tart kiwi at the bottom.

The building is named Tokyo City View for a reason! Everything looks like a miniature when you're gazing out from the 52nd floor. It should be easy to find Godzilla from up here. (Hint: He's not attacking Tokyo Tower!)

In case you forgot, the adverts on the way to the gift shop remind you that Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are coming on November 11th. Until then, make sure to treat your Pokemon with trust and love!

Event dates: July 19th-August 31st
Hours: 10:00-23:00
Address: 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku Tokyo
Roppongi Hills Mori Tower 52F
Official homepage: http://www.roppongihills.com/tcv/jp/pokemonten-xy/

News Roundup for July 31st, 2014

Masters of the Cool Japan Universe

The first official announcement for Universal Studios Japan’s Universal Cool Japan (no, that title isn't one of our more avant garde gags) event is Attack on Titan the Real, an area that invites you to experience the misery of the title's characters first hand. Details are still scare other than the January 23rd, 2015 opening date, though we'd like to see an attraction where Levi yells at you to clean, one where you steal potatoes with Sasha and a water ride that ends with crashing through the hole in Wall Sina.

Official homepage: http://www.usj.co.jp/universal-cool-japan2015/shingeki/

C'Mon N' Ride It

Did the last blurb make you think that Attack on Titan merchandising has gone off the rails? Well, think again! It's firmly planted on the rails of the Seibu line in Chichibu, Saitama for a smartphone stamp rally. 3DMG over to the official site for more visuals and details on how to play (Japanese only, sorry!).

Official homepage: http://shingeki-seibu.jp/

Hollywood You Believe It?

Hollywood is once again looking to Japan for inspiration, a trend that is finally starting to be more palatable. Next up on the chopping block is GTO's Soul Reviver. What happens when the director of The Last Samurai tries his hand at a story that takes place in the world between life and death is anyone's guess. Let's just hope this doesn't end up in pre-production limbo like the titular souls (and most of the other optioned mangas).

Official homepage: http://www.heros-web.com/works/soul.html

Lord Have Merci

Dragon! Dragon! Rock the Dragon! Dragon Ball Chic! Japanese clothing label mercibeaucoup, is changing their target market from trendy fashionistas to otaku hipsters with their new Dragon Ball line. Ladies, be sure to accessorize with a hentai scouter before hitting the streets in your new duds; AmiAmi Blog staffer Boke Nasu will propose to any woman in a Mr. Popo dress on sight and his power level is well over 9000.

Official homepage: http://zozo.jp/search/?p_tpcsid=53922&utm_source=al&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=20140729321

Get Your Finger on the Pulse of Cool

Going from hipsters to chipsters, animator m7kenji and chip star TORIENA have come together to make the ultimate chiptune music video for TORIENA's new single Pulse Fighter. The .nsf beats and sprite animation combine into an 8-bit opera that will make your head bob and your heart throb. Listen to TORIENA's full album A.I Complex (better yet, buy it!) on the MADMILKY website below.

MADMILKY homepage: http://www.madmilkyrecords.net/

Preview: Excellent Model - Shinra Bansho Choco: Mashougun Astaroth 1/8 Complete Figure by MegaHouse

-----Based on our Japanese blog-----

mesi.png

Meshi here, ready to serve up another heaping helping of figure previews. Japan has a long running love affair with snack pack-in card games and their epic but often incomprehensible worlds. Today's figure comes from the Shinra Bansho Choco series launched in 2005 and, despite being aimed at children, is sinfully moe. No wonder more and more kids are growing up otaku... Let's dig in!

Excellent Model - Shinra Bansho Choco: Mashougun Astaroth 1/8 Complete Figure [MegaHouse]

Astaroth comes to us based on an illustration from the second chapter of the series with her sexy stats maxed out.

For such a soft body she has a devilishly commanding presence! No doubt this character made kids feel funny for reasons they couldn't comprehend. Now those kids are all grown up and get to meet her again with a greater understanding of the world and the resources to afford her.

If her amazing proportions aren't enough to win you over, the horns and wings should do the trick. She had me at the blue skin, though.

Zoom in any closer and you'll your eye out. Talons and horns aside, even her blueberry marshmallow boobs come to a sharp point!

The back view is sweeter than than the series' namesake chocolate! They must be paying her in product.

Obligatory groveling-at-feet shot. The metal breastplate looks ready to blow, but don't let that distract you from the finer details such as her likewise compressed hips or the slight folds in her bent knee.

We've seen jet black eyes and vertical pupils, but never at the same time! Cosplay contact manufacturers: get on this color scheme immediately! Her jewelry sparkles almost as brightly but plays second fiddle to the color contrast between her peepers and blue skin.

Ever danced with the devil in the pale moon light? No? Well here is what you are missing out on! Really though, how many children's mind have been irreparably warped by this demonic doll?

Astaroth rewards you for getting creative with your lighting scheme. Now reward yourself by adding her to your collection!

Excellent Model - Shinra Bansho Choco: Mashougun Astaroth 1/8 Complete Figure [MegaHouse]

(C)BANDAI・こどもの館

*Photos are of a prototype and the actual product may differ.